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ACT 9: Caluwa
The Collector of the Souls
Nation: Purr’catory
Sex: Male
Birthday: Unknown
“Everything comes with a price, sweetheart.”
“Your life shall be the best payment wink.”
“Say my name, and I shall appear.”
“Fear is my middle name, baby.”
Caluwa is a quiet and benign reaper cat. Ever since he could remember, Caluwa was already doing his job without fail. From day to night, he accompanies the deceased souls to the Purr’catory and makes sure they cross over the bridge to the next life. It was a routine that neither he knew when and why it all started. His gentle heart constantly ensures to make the souls merry in their last moments in the land of the living. Although their lives may have already ended, he always wished for their prosperity and peace in the next life.
It just happened that the God of Immortality entrusted the job to him. It was an honor to be assigned such a valuable task, but he lost sight of his ambition and gratitude as time passed by. His eyes opened to God’s imperfections and dreadful attitude that they started a rebellion. However, as they say, “Betrayal happens, not by your enemies, but by the close people you trusted.” His pure heart slowly was filled with darkness and anger. If using deception and lies to win, then he shall play this game as well. While others fight for greed, he shall remain the naive and innocent reaper in their eyes.
MEMORIES OF THE FORGOTTEN
According to legends, reaper cats were once part of the different cat races made by the three gods. They had family and enjoyed living in the beautiful world of Neko Sekai. However, such rumors did say that an unforgivable sin made them who they are today; the reaper cats. Many have speculated about it, but for sure, killing one’s life will definitely earn you the title.
Caluwa was on his way to fetch the last soul for the night when his heart suddenly throbbed intensely, stopping him in his tracks. The surroundings were familiar as his sight started to get blurry, but he continued to walk forward. A simple lodge greeted him in the woods that felt nostalgic for some reason. Although his eyes might be tricking him, it was as if his mind was retrieving a lost memory. Deep in his heart, he knew it was not the first time to seen this kind of house. His breath was getting heavier as he went near it. He passed through the walls of the house and saw a child lying on the ground. The body was covered with blood, and a small dagger stained with it glimmered against the light. The soul that had been separated from it just wept, feeling the regret from his decision. Caluwa was sad for the poor boy, but every decision has consequences, and no one can turn back time.
Despite the child wanting to stay, the dead cannot remain in the land of the living. Although it was against his will, he grabbed the boy forcibly out of the house. That was the moment when a woman went in and began wailing that his head started aching in pain. His head felt like it was exploding as recollections from the past came flashing back. Only his tears were able to express his despair at the moment. He now knew and remembered why he became a reaper cat in the first place. He was the same; he also took his life.
When Caluwa returned home that night, his mind kept wandering back to what had happened a while ago. He had a rough and painful history with his abusive father, but he was hopeful of getting out someday and seeing the world’s beauty with his eyes as a child. However, before he could even see it from happening, his eyes were taken away from him. His father came home drunk and beat the life out of him. Losing his eyes was the final straw, and he finally hanged himself by the light of the full moon shining unto him.
MERCY FOR THE SOULS
It took some time before Caluwa had the strength to accept it. The anguish and resentment that he held too tight before came back, overwhelming his present emotions. He may have forgiven that man he called father, but he wouldn't forget all those unpleasant memories that scarred him for life. His dreams that were shattered and broken will never be mended again. Before he died that day, he yearned for his mother's tender touch one last time; the way she would caress his hair to make him fall asleep was the last memory he had of her.
Caluwa sympathized with the souls more for this sole reason. He wanted to do something good for them before they entered the Purr'catory. He wanted to give them at least a chance to say their final words to their loved ones. At the same time, two different cats awaited him outside of the Purr'catory; it was Zaria Hart and Maxius. Having no clue who they were, he felt suspicious at first. However, the moment they proposed a mysterious scheme, he felt hopeful. In this way, Caluwa hopes to see the souls be freed from their regrets and doubts. Although the payment was unnecessary, it would maintain the cats' attitude of seeing their loved ones again. This deal was restricted for no one shall ever know, especially the Gods. Punishment awaits cats who profane the three gods’ names for their own gain if words go out.
DEVIL IN DISGUISE
The festival of the undead has become a tradition that cats anticipate every year. The cats hoped to see their loved ones once more in exchange for having a deal with the reaper cat. The payment may cost a part of their lifetime, but it's worth it. Caluwa knew the pain of not being able to say your last words to someone who died. As he witnessed people being granted the chance to do so, it felt like the repentance he had wanted. It was a way of facing his past by helping other people have different endings.
It took not long for the rumors to reach the land of Cedora, where the God of Immortality went on a rampage. The three of them were called outside the Purr'catory in which they were caught red-handed doing the deed. Caluwa waited for Zaria Hart and Maxius to admit their plans, but they ended up making him the bad guy. He was the one who planned it all out, and his selfishness just set them up. Emotionless, he accepted whatever punishment the God of Immortality saw fit. Despite the anger that he was forced to hide, the moment he saw them laughing at his misery was the last straw. His punishment was extending more years into the service of being reaper cats before crossing the road to the afterlife. He continued to do his duty as everyone was assigned to guard him.
He had finally seen the cruelty and repugnant attitude the God of Immortality had. He had his favorites and was unfair to each cat. He only cares what others can offer to his name and what he would benefit from it. They were the selfish ones compared to him. However, as they say, "The best revenge is a massive success." One day, people should know the wickedness hidden in the smiles of what they called the three gods.
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